Lawrence Rungren

96 Articles

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PREMIUM

Cleanness

Covering similar emotional ground, this heartfelt work is a worthy successor to Greenwell’s extraordinary debut. [See Prepub Alert, 7/15/19.]

PREMIUM

Processed Cheese

While the satire is occasionally obvious and over-the-top, this is a richly comic—and one might say, right on the money
PREMIUM

Mary Toft; or, The Rabbit Queen

Drawing on a true incident, Palmer (The Dream of Perpetual Motion) pits the age-old human desire to believe the miraculous against the emerging rationalism of the scientific community in Mary’s time. In this yearning to believe what we’d like to be true over the facts, the novel perhaps offers some parallels to our own time. [See Prepub Alert, 5/13/19.]
PREMIUM

Reinhardt’s Garden

Subverting the conventions of the late 19th–early 20th century novel of the obsessed European venturing into the jungle, Haber (Deathbed Conversions) has crafted a knowing (and perhaps at times too knowing) parody of the genre. Combine its brevity with its main character’s mania and almost religious elevation of melancholy, and the book might best be described as Heart of Darkness viewed in a fun house mirror.

PREMIUM

Gettysburg

Though Reynolds’s plans for renewal end up wildly off the mark, he ultimately finds something of value. While delightedly skewering the privileged entertainment industry lifestyle, Morris (All Joe Knight) uses Reynolds’s travails and the divisions of the Civil War period to make larger points about the current state of America. [See Prepub Alert, 1/23/19.]

The Hotel Neversink

Told by a cast of family members that spans generations, this is a family saga with a mystery at its heart and a Doctorow-like take on the rise and fall of a particular era of American life and the American dream. Price (The Grand Tour) has written a compelling chronicle of grand dreams and dark secrets.

PREMIUM

The Capital

The tension between a supranational European vision and a rising tide of nationalism is at the center of this trenchant political satire. Given that increasing nationalism is not a strictly European phenomenon, this German Book Prize winner may well find an audience on this side of the Atlantic. [See Prepub Alert, 12/3/18.]
PREMIUM

Leading Men

This is a tale of love and loneliness, the personal costs of genius and its attendant fame, and of the ultimate, inconsolable pain of loss. In its depiction of Americans in Europe, its closest literary cousin might be F. Scott Fitzgerald's Tender Is the Night.
PREMIUM

Still in Love

An impeccably written novel of academic life, filled with gentle jabs at the foibles and eccentricities of contemporary college students and the frustrations of dealing with one's colleagues, this work is a paean to teaching, the writing process, and the craft of storytelling. While its brevity can make it seem slight, its heft is in its heart.

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